An unconditional ceasefire between the two sides has been in place for a week, and Gazans who have taken refuge have returned home.
However, during the Israeli air strikes, large numbers of homes in Gaza City were destroyed and large numbers of civilian casualties were reported. In the face of the situation of the broken family, where do these residents take their homes?
A few tents of rags, a few worn-out chairs, this is Mahmoud’s present home. And just a few steps from the tent, it was his former home. An air strike on May 14th left the three-story building in ruins and instantly destroyed the Mahmoud family’s life.
Mahmoud Attar, displaced person in Gaza City: This used to be my room, where I lived with my wife and children, and it was here that the house collapsed in an instant when the air strikes arrived. I found myself under the door frame, so I saved my life. I climbed out and used searchlights to look for my wife and children in the rubble, and I shouted their names, and I heard their voices, but to no avail.
After the air strikes, Gaza’s civil defence team rushed to the rescue, but only the cold bodies were found, in which Mahmoud’s wife and three children were all killed. Once alive, only a few photos on his mobile phone are left to remember, and Mahmoud can’t hide his grief even in silence.
Mahmoud Attar, displaced person in Gaza City: This is Amira, she’s five years old, this is Salam, he’s only two years old, this is a picture of Amira and her brother Khalid at home with pigeons.
Mahmood, however, was too late to grieve, and his brother, who lived with him, survived the air strike but was wounded and barely limped. The loss of loved ones and the need to take care of their younger brothers, who have no livelihood can only rely on a small amount of assistance, in tents to live together.
Ihab Attar, displaced person in Gaza City: We have no jobs, we have not been able to remove anything from the rubble, we can only hope to rebuild quickly.
It’s just that destroyed houses can be rebuilt, and broken families can’t be reunited. For Gazans who lost loved ones in Israeli air strikes, the cease-fire will not heal the wounds and rebuild their hearts. Where can they live in the smoke of the Israeli-Palestinian war?
Mahmoud Attar, displaced person in Gaza City: In the house where we have lived for fifteen years, the memories of me, my wife and my children are all in that moment turned to ashes, and I do not know the goal, I do not know the future, I do not know the meaning of life.